Time for Part 2 of the Ann story. For those of you who missed out on part one, it’s right below this one. Pretty cool how that works, huh?
Ann and I played with our Barbie dolls a lot. In all honesty, I would have rather been out climbing a tree or riding my bike, but Ann loved playing with Barbie dolls. And sometimes when your best friend wants to do something that you may not necessarily want to do, you do it anyway. You do it simply because she's your best friend in the whole wide world, and she has a Slip 'n Slide.
My favorite in the Barbie line was Skipper. Mostly because Skipper didn’t have boobs that could leave puncture wounds on my delicate, young flesh, and she had one kick-ass swimsuit. It was red and had a striped, v-shaped inset on the chest and a matching striped flounce around the bottom. I always wished there was some way I could magically enlarge it so I could wear my very own Skipper swimsuit.
Ann got to take her Barbie dolls out of the box brand new. Mine were hand me downs from my older sisters and their hair had been hacked off, and they had at least one foot that had been chewed on (the doll’s hair and feet, not my sister’s). At Ann’s house Ken and Barbie would do a lot of dry humping and cussing. At my house Ken and Barbie got baptized and did a lot of praying. Her Barbie had inflatable furniture. Pink, squishy inflatable furniture. My Barbie had a greeting card box for a bed, and her dresser was made from glued together matchboxes. Ann had the 3-story Barbie Dream House with an elevator. A lacy elevator with heart cut-outs. My Barbie Dream House was fashioned out of shoe boxes and glitter. Lots of glitter.
Ann had all of the newest clothes for her Barbie, and every stitch of clothing my Barbie had was sewn by my mother. Which translates to: her Barbie had to be dressed in the pink, polyester skirt that came with the shirt that came with the jewelry that came with the shoes that came with the purse. My Barbie wore whatever the hell she wanted to, and probably didn’t match.
But the other day, when I started thinking about all of my handmade Barbie stuff, I had a mini-epiphany. By not having the pre-fab furniture, I had to be creative. I had to think, well not exactly outside the box, but rather about the box. Lots of boxes, in my case. And my mother, with her many faults and malfunctions, took the time to sew my Barbie some clothes which meant that my Barbie was wearing stuff that no other Barbie was wearing.
This creativeness by necessity has stayed with me, although now it’s not by necessity, but because I enjoy it. I would much rather go to a flea market and find a funky piece of furniture to add to the odd assortment of furniture I already own, rather than go buy a matching set of furniture. And now my outfits are thrown together pieces that I've found here and there. A jumbled array of vintage and new. I'm most comfortable in jeans and whatever shirt fits my fancy for the day. Some days my fancy is extremely hard to fit. It's highly possibly that I'll have on a hat and some pretty cute shoes, because I love both more than you can imagine. I might even have a 60s era scarf slapped around my neck and an old butterfly pin stuck somewhere on my outfit. But you can bet your sweet hindquarters that I most definitely will not be wearing a pink, polyester skirt that came with the shirt that came with the jewelry that came with the shoes that came with the purse.
And this is the story that Barbie built.
But, I’d still love to have Skipper’s swimsuit.